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SNP MP Kirsty Blackman: ‘Cheeky Chancellor does not care about poor people’

THE SNP has accused Rishi Sunak of “not caring” about poor people after he announced a £15bn financial package to tackle the cost of living. 

Mr Sunak said his plans, which will be funded through a windfall tax on oil and gas profits, would give the lowest earners in Scotland an additional £1000.

However Kirsty Blackman, SNP MP, said the measures did not go far enough to help people, and said the Chancellor had been “cheeky” in adding in his previous announcements on council tax rebates as part of the latest measures.

She told the Commons: “I don’t understand why he has announced only a £15 billion package. 

“He has got £28 billion pounds of fiscal headroom in public sector net debt. He’s got £32 billion of fiscal headroom in balancing the current budget. Those are the OBR’s figures from March. He is refusing to spend that money now in the timely targeted way that it is needed.” 

She said that Brexit “has increased food prices by 6%” and added: “People who are struggling to meet the most basic costs, the majority of their costs are being spent on energy and on food have been hit incredibly hard by Brexit.”

The MP for Aberdeen North continued: “The other thing that he chose to do today, which was pretty cheeky, was to include the £150 council tax payment in all of the figures that he was using.

“That only went to people in bands A-D, that certainly did not go to all pensioners.

“That certainly cannot be included in the money that is going to all pensioners, cannot be included in the money that is going to Universal Credit claimants, it cannot be in the money that is going to all disabled people, and cannot be included in the cost of this support package because it is absolutely not universal.” 

Mr Sunak replied: “For some people it will never be enough.” 

He also said the SNP’s plans “would leave Scotland with, I think, a 20% budget deficit and bankrupt the country” adding: “That’s not something that we will ever do to the people of Scotland or the United Kingdom.”

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